37886RE: What do you do with your stuff?
- Feb 5, 2014
If you are really concerned about theft in LYV, then I'd say you should ask a ranger about it and see how prevalent it actually is and what they recommend. When I did Half Dome from LYV with my daughter, we just put as much as we could in our bear box (including our main packs) primarily to keep the critters out and then left the tent set up with sleeping bag inside. My theory is that you aren't going to find pro-style thiefs rummaging through closed up bear boxes trying to steal backpacking equipment in the back-country. There are far easier targets an easier get-a-way opportunities down in the valley campgrounds itself.
I once though maybe someone had taken my cell phone when I was stopped at the Vernal falls bridge though I also thought that maybe it had just fallen out of a flapped pocket too and gotten lost. It turns out, I found it a year later. It had indeed fallen out of the pocket it was supposed to be in and was in a deep, dark corner of the backpack elsewhere where it was easy to never see.
So, what you need to avoid is leaving things out and about and highly visible that tempt someone to just pick up something they might want/need or be curious about. Just like if you leave your cell phone out on the picnic table when you go to the bathroom, it's a lot more likely to disappear than if it's not visible and stored away in your backpack.
For example, when I did the side trip from Trail Junction up to Whitney at the end of the JMT, I unloaded a lot of stuff from my backpack (bear canister, sleeping bag, tent, etc... for the four mile round-trip to Whitney and put it all in a garbage bag and set that garbage bag right along with the other gear left at the junction. My theory was that its a lot less likely that someone is going to be rummaging through closed containers looking for things (that would certainly look suspicious in a busy place like Trail Junction), but if I leave something out and clearly visible, it's easy for someone to just pick it up and go without ever looking suspicious.
That said, I've never had any troubles with anything disappearing in the back country. The one place I've heard stories of things disappearing is the backpacker's campground in Tuolumne Meadows. Our stuff was fine when we stayed there.
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